Huawei P8 Lite Review

Huawei P8 Lite Review
Huawei P8 Lite Review
Huawei P8 Lite Review
Huawei P8 Lite Review
Huawei P8 Lite Review
Introduction


The war in the 'premium' mid-range segment is ongoing and constantly heating up, as more and more companies are pushing out devices that seem to be vying for notoriety in this new, competitive space. Asus and Alcatel have been victorious in what they've delivered in the Zenfone 2 and Onetouch Idol 3 respectively, but now it's Huawei's turn to show consumers what it can counter with. Fresh off the release of its recent high-end offering in the P8, the company retools the handset to accommodate a significantly more competitive price point of $249.99 outright – a seemingly logical move to keep it in good light with the other options that have already been proven to be successful. Does the Huawei P8 Lite have enough goodies to triumph over the aforementioned, highly acclaimed smartphones?

The package contains:
  • Huawei P8 Lite
  • microUSB cable
  • Wall charger
  • Quick start guide
  • Product and safety information

Design

It’s a more compact, all-plastic version of the P8. Looks good, but there’s definitely less of that premium feel.

Replicating what they've done already, the P8 Lite is undoubtedly staying true to the P8's style by employing the same design language – one that's notable for its uniformly flush surfaces and 7.7mm ultra-thin profile. It's obvious it looks exactly like the P8, with the exception that it has a smaller overall footprint, while it's also thicker, and rocking a plastic body. Gone is the metal design, replaced instead by a plastic one, which does nicely to match the brushed metal finish of its beefier spec'd, more premium feeling sibling, but still undeniably plastic. Quite frankly, it's instantly noticeable that the 'premium' feel is lost with its plastic construction, but it's not too heavily compromised with its build quality.

In similar fashion, the ports and buttons are located in the same spots as the P8. The left edge of the _phone_ is clean, while the right is home to its volume control, power button, microSD slot, and dual micro/nano SIM slots. Over on the top edge, we have its 3.5mm headset jack and noise-cancelling microphone. Finally, the bottom edge is occupied by the microUSB port, microphone, and internal speaker.

 

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Front view | Side view
Huawei P8 lite
Huawei P8 lite
5.63 x 2.78 x 0.3 inches
143 x 70.6 x 7.7 mm
4.62 oz (131 g)

Huawei P8 lite

Asus ZenFone 2
Asus ZenFone 2
6 x 3.04 x 0.43 inches
152.5 x 77.2 x 10.9 mm
6.00 oz (170 g)

Asus ZenFone 2

OPPO R1x
OPPO R1x
5.54 x 2.76 x 0.27 inches
140.6 x 70.1 x 6.8 mm
4.59 oz (130 g)

OPPO R1x

Alcatel OneTouch IDOL 3 (5.5
Alcatel OneTouch IDOL 3 (5.5
6.01 x 2.96 x 0.29 inches
152.7 x 75.14 x 7.4 mm
4.96 oz (141 g)

Alcatel OneTouch IDOL 3 (5.5")



Display

Details aside, everything else about the display is a disappointment.

Typical of any 'lite' smartphone, the P8 Lite scales back accordingly to offer a 5-inch 720 x 1280 IPS-LCD display with Gorilla Glass 3. Unlike its direct competitors, namely the Asus Zenfone 2 and Alcatel Onetouch Idol 3, which both offer larger sized screens with 1080p resolution, the P8 Lite favors 720p resolution. Factoring in its smaller screen size, which attributes to a pixel density of 294 ppi, it still produces enough detail and sharpness to make it useful. 

Being ‘competitively’ priced sometimes warrants inferior qualities, which unfortunately for this, is what’s evident with its display. In particular, the screen exudes a disturbingly cold color temperature of 8536K – giving the color white a profoundly bluish hue. Not only that, but it’s terrible at reproducing colors, especially shades of magenta, which appear more blue in tone than anything else. Finally, at wide viewing angles, there’s visible distortion that makes colors appear severely subdued. And oh yeah, it’s also lackluster with its 380 nit luminance.

After witnessing the sheer attraction and iridescence that came along with the Alcatel Onetouch Idol 3’s display, we’re clearly disappointed in the P8 Lite’s – it’s just blah, made worse by its inferior qualities.

Display measurements and quality

Maximum brightness (nits)Higher is better Minimum brightness (nits)Lower is better Contrast Higher is better Color temperature (Kelvins) Gamma Delta E rgbcmy Lower is better Delta E grayscale Lower is better
Alcatel OneTouch IDOL 3 (5.5") 665
(Excellent)
29
(Poor)
1:960
(Average)
7280
(Good)
2.14
5.34
(Average)
5.68
(Average)
OPPO R1x 474
(Good)
5
(Excellent)
1:888
(Average)
6838
(Excellent)
2.34
3.67
(Good)
3.67
(Good)
Asus ZenFone 2 442
(Good)
28
(Poor)
1:1336
(Excellent)
7622
(Average)
2.8
6.44
(Average)
6.16
(Average)
Huawei P8 lite 380
(Average)
10
(Average)
1:933
(Average)
8536
(Poor)
2.25
6.50
(Average)
7.04
(Average)
View all

The numbers below represent the amount of deviation in the respective property, observed when a display is viewed from a 45-degree angle as opposed to direct viewing.

Maximum brightness Lower is better Minimum brightness Lower is better Contrast Lower is better Color temperature Lower is better Gamma Lower is better Delta E rgbcmy Lower is better Delta E grayscale Lower is better
Asus ZenFone 2 73.5%
71.4%
72%
19%
10%
3.4%
16.4%
OPPO R1x 74.5%
80%
82.8%
4.2%
1.3%
3.5%
18.3%
Alcatel OneTouch IDOL 3 (5.5") 79.2%
79.3%
72.3%
17.9%
12.6%
15%
38.4%
Huawei P8 lite 81.6%
80%
85.1%
23.3%
14.2%
2.3%
46.7%
View all

The CIE 1931 xy color gamut chart represents the set (area) of colors that a display can reproduce, with the sRGB colorspace (the highlighted triangle) serving as reference. The chart also provides a visual representation of a display's color accuracy. The small squares across the boundaries of the triangle are the reference points for the various colors, while the small dots are the actual measurements. Ideally, each dot should be positioned on top of its respective square. The 'x: CIE31' and 'y: CIE31' values in the table below the chart indicate the position of each measurement on the chart. 'Y' shows the luminance (in nits) of each measured color, while 'Target Y' is the desired luminance level for that color. Finally, 'ΔE 2000' is the Delta E value of the measured color. Delta E values of below 2 are ideal.

This measurements are made using SpectraCal's CalMAN calibration software.

The Color accuracy chart gives an idea of how close a display's measured colors are to their referential values. The first line holds the measured (actual) colors, while the second line holds the reference (target) colors. The closer the actual colors are to the target ones, the better.

This measurements are made using SpectraCal's CalMAN calibration software.

The Grayscale accuracy chart shows whether a display has a correct white balance (balance between red, green and blue) across different levels of grey (from dark to bright). The closer the Actual colors are to the Target ones, the better.

This measurements are made using SpectraCal's CalMAN calibration software.

View all


Huawei P8 Lite Review

Huawei P8 Lite Review
Huawei P8 Lite Review
Huawei P8 Lite Review
Huawei P8 Lite Review
Huawei P8 Lite Review
Introduction


The war in the 'premium' mid-range segment is ongoing and constantly heating up, as more and more companies are pushing out devices that seem to be vying for notoriety in this new, competitive space. Asus and Alcatel have been victorious in what they've delivered in the Zenfone 2 and Onetouch Idol 3 respectively, but now it's Huawei's turn to show consumers what it can counter with. Fresh off the release of its recent high-end offering in the P8, the company retools the handset to accommodate a significantly more competitive price point of $249.99 outright – a seemingly logical move to keep it in good light with the other options that have already been proven to be successful. Does the Huawei P8 Lite have enough goodies to triumph over the aforementioned, highly acclaimed smartphones?

The package contains:
  • Huawei P8 Lite
  • microUSB cable
  • Wall charger
  • Quick start guide
  • Product and safety information

Design

It’s a more compact, all-plastic version of the P8. Looks good, but there’s definitely less of that premium feel.

Replicating what they've done already, the P8 Lite is undoubtedly staying true to the P8's style by employing the same design language – one that's notable for its uniformly flush surfaces and 7.7mm ultra-thin profile. It's obvious it looks exactly like the P8, with the exception that it has a smaller overall footprint, while it's also thicker, and rocking a plastic body. Gone is the metal design, replaced instead by a plastic one, which does nicely to match the brushed metal finish of its beefier spec'd, more premium feeling sibling, but still undeniably plastic. Quite frankly, it's instantly noticeable that the 'premium' feel is lost with its plastic construction, but it's not too heavily compromised with its build quality.

In similar fashion, the ports and buttons are located in the same spots as the P8. The left edge of the _phone_ is clean, while the right is home to its volume control, power button, microSD slot, and dual micro/nano SIM slots. Over on the top edge, we have its 3.5mm headset jack and noise-cancelling microphone. Finally, the bottom edge is occupied by the microUSB port, microphone, and internal speaker.

Front view | Side view
Huawei P8 lite
Huawei P8 lite
5.63 x 2.78 x 0.3 inches
143 x 70.6 x 7.7 mm
4.62 oz (131 g)

Huawei P8 lite

Asus ZenFone 2
Asus ZenFone 2
6 x 3.04 x 0.43 inches
152.5 x 77.2 x 10.9 mm
6.00 oz (170 g)

Asus ZenFone 2

OPPO R1x
OPPO R1x
5.54 x 2.76 x 0.27 inches
140.6 x 70.1 x 6.8 mm
4.59 oz (130 g)

OPPO R1x

Alcatel OneTouch IDOL 3 (5.5
Alcatel OneTouch IDOL 3 (5.5
6.01 x 2.96 x 0.29 inches
152.7 x 75.14 x 7.4 mm
4.96 oz (141 g)

Alcatel OneTouch IDOL 3 (5.5")



Display

Details aside, everything else about the display is a disappointment.

Typical of any 'lite' smartphone, the P8 Lite scales back accordingly to offer a 5-inch 720 x 1280 IPS-LCD display with Gorilla Glass 3. Unlike its direct competitors, namely the Asus Zenfone 2 and Alcatel Onetouch Idol 3, which both offer larger sized screens with 1080p resolution, the P8 Lite favors 720p resolution. Factoring in its smaller screen size, which attributes to a pixel density of 294 ppi, it still produces enough detail and sharpness to make it useful. 

Being ‘competitively’ priced sometimes warrants inferior qualities, which unfortunately for this, is what’s evident with its display. In particular, the screen exudes a disturbingly cold color temperature of 8536K – giving the color white a profoundly bluish hue. Not only that, but it’s terrible at reproducing colors, especially shades of magenta, which appear more blue in tone than anything else. Finally, at wide viewing angles, there’s visible distortion that makes colors appear severely subdued. And oh yeah, it’s also lackluster with its 380 nit luminance.

After witnessing the sheer attraction and iridescence that came along with the Alcatel Onetouch Idol 3’s display, we’re clearly disappointed in the P8 Lite’s – it’s just blah, made worse by its inferior qualities.

Display measurements and quality

Maximum brightness (nits)Higher is better Minimum brightness (nits)Lower is better Contrast Higher is better Color temperature (Kelvins) Gamma Delta E rgbcmy Lower is better Delta E grayscale Lower is better
Alcatel OneTouch IDOL 3 (5.5") 665
(Excellent)
29
(Poor)
1:960
(Average)
7280
(Good)
2.14
5.34
(Average)
5.68
(Average)
OPPO R1x 474
(Good)
5
(Excellent)
1:888
(Average)
6838
(Excellent)
2.34
3.67
(Good)
3.67
(Good)
Asus ZenFone 2 442
(Good)
28
(Poor)
1:1336
(Excellent)
7622
(Average)
2.8
6.44
(Average)
6.16
(Average)
Huawei P8 lite 380
(Average)
10
(Average)
1:933
(Average)
8536
(Poor)
2.25
6.50
(Average)
7.04
(Average)
View all

The numbers below represent the amount of deviation in the respective property, observed when a display is viewed from a 45-degree angle as opposed to direct viewing.

Maximum brightness Lower is better Minimum brightness Lower is better Contrast Lower is better Color temperature Lower is better Gamma Lower is better Delta E rgbcmy Lower is better Delta E grayscale Lower is better
Asus ZenFone 2 73.5%
71.4%
72%
19%
10%
3.4%
16.4%
OPPO R1x 74.5%
80%
82.8%
4.2%
1.3%
3.5%
18.3%
Alcatel OneTouch IDOL 3 (5.5") 79.2%
79.3%
72.3%
17.9%
12.6%
15%
38.4%
Huawei P8 lite 81.6%
80%
85.1%
23.3%
14.2%
2.3%
46.7%
View all

The CIE 1931 xy color gamut chart represents the set (area) of colors that a display can reproduce, with the sRGB colorspace (the highlighted triangle) serving as reference. The chart also provides a visual representation of a display's color accuracy. The small squares across the boundaries of the triangle are the reference points for the various colors, while the small dots are the actual measurements. Ideally, each dot should be positioned on top of its respective square. The 'x: CIE31' and 'y: CIE31' values in the table below the chart indicate the position of each measurement on the chart. 'Y' shows the luminance (in nits) of each measured color, while 'Target Y' is the desired luminance level for that color. Finally, 'ΔE 2000' is the Delta E value of the measured color. Delta E values of below 2 are ideal.

This measurements are made using SpectraCal's CalMAN calibration software.

The Color accuracy chart gives an idea of how close a display's measured colors are to their referential values. The first line holds the measured (actual) colors, while the second line holds the reference (target) colors. The closer the actual colors are to the target ones, the better.

This measurements are made using SpectraCal's CalMAN calibration software.

The Grayscale accuracy chart shows whether a display has a correct white balance (balance between red, green and blue) across different levels of grey (from dark to bright). The closer the Actual colors are to the Target ones, the better.

This measurements are made using SpectraCal's CalMAN calibration software.

View all


Interface and Functionality

Asus did it, as well as Alcatel. It’s just unacceptable that the P8 Lite is launching with KitKat.

Despite launching after the P8, this phone is running a slightly older version of Huawei's customized Android experience – the Emotion UI 3.0, rather than version 3.1. Additionally, it's running on top of Android 4.4.4 KitKat too, which is pretty alarming not only because the international version of the phone is greeted with Android 5.0 Lollipop, but also for the fact that it's pretty unacceptable for any NEW phone to launch this late without Lollipop in tow at the very least. Love it or hate it, the EMUI 3.0 experience eliminates the traditional apps panel, placing all the icons onto the homescreen. The result, though, is an interface that's cluttered and disorganized, even though some would vouch that putting them into folders would mitigate the issue. On the surface, it has all the useful functions and qualities of any Android smartphone, but it's really not the type to appease power users. Sure, there's a higher degree of personalization brought on by downloadable themes, but it lacks the multi-tasking prowess and deep feature sets we see in other custom Android experiences.

Processor and Memory

Even basic operations can overwhelm the handset’s Snapdragon 615 chip.

Adios Kirin! For its US release, Huawei decided to power this variant of the P8 Lite with an octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 615 chip coupled with 2GB of RAM and the Adreno 405 GPU. Strangely, though, it exhibits some minor lag navigating across the homescreen, which isn't a problem with the Alcatel Onetouch Idol 3, especially when it's powered by the same chipset. Effective enough to handle general light tasks, the phone's performance clearly suffers in graphics processing. 

For the price, its 16GB of internal storage is more than sufficient, but there's also its microSD card slot to supplement things.

Performance benchmarks

AnTuTu
Higher is better
Asus ZenFone 2 41442
Huawei P8 lite 35438
Alcatel OneTouch IDOL 3 (5.5") 32175
OPPO R1x 28726.3
Vellamo Metal
Higher is better
Asus ZenFone 2 1368
Huawei P8 lite 966
Alcatel OneTouch IDOL 3 (5.5") 933
OPPO R1x 1014.3
Vellamo Browser
Higher is better
Asus ZenFone 2 3407
Huawei P8 lite 2147
Alcatel OneTouch IDOL 3 (5.5") 2254
Sunspider
Lower is better
Asus ZenFone 2 789.5
Huawei P8 lite 1272
Alcatel OneTouch IDOL 3 (5.5") 1306.7
OPPO R1x 1297
GFXBench T-Rex HD on-screen
Higher is better
Asus ZenFone 2 27.6
Huawei P8 lite 23.5
Alcatel OneTouch IDOL 3 (5.5") 15
OPPO R1x 20
GFXBench Manhattan on-screen
Higher is better
Asus ZenFone 2 12.7
Huawei P8 lite 12.6
Alcatel OneTouch IDOL 3 (5.5") 6
OPPO R1x 9.6
Basemark OS II
Higher is better
Asus ZenFone 2 1243
Huawei P8 lite 800
Alcatel OneTouch IDOL 3 (5.5") 495
OPPO R1x 670
Geekbench 3 single-core
Higher is better
Asus ZenFone 2 908
Huawei P8 lite 681
Alcatel OneTouch IDOL 3 (5.5") 664
OPPO R1x 664
Geekbench 3 multi-core
Higher is better
Asus ZenFone 2 1938
Huawei P8 lite 2597
Alcatel OneTouch IDOL 3 (5.5") 2402
OPPO R1x 2413
View all

Internet and Connectivity


Using it with T-Mobile’s service in the greater NYC area, we can’t complain about the LTE speeds that help to load complex web sites in a snappy manner. Even though the P8 Lite’s performance remains favorable for the most part, it sometimes has a tough time keeping up with the rendering – more so when we scroll very quickly through a large site. Aside from that, we can’t complain much about it.

Equipped to handle traveling domestically and abroad, the only issue that comes to play is its lack of support for the CDMA bands. Meaning, Sprint and Verizon customers are out of luck. Regardless, it’s outfitted with the usual set of connectivity features consisting of aGPS, Bluetooth 4.0 with EDR, and 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi. Another strange omission, NFC is not something in its arsenal – a shame indeed.

Camera

The camera serves its purpose, however, it underperforms with video recording and low light capture.

Armed with a 13-megapixel Sony sensor, which features an f/2.2 aperture lens, BSI, and an LED flash, it puts the Huawei P8 Lite in the same scope as the Alcatel Onetouch Idol 3 and Asus Zenfone 2. They also feature 13-megapixel cameras, and so far, we’ve been generally pleased by what they produced – so we’re hoping to see similar results here. Around the front, it’s sporting a 5-megapixel snapper.

Running the camera app, the P8 Lite looks like it’s offering the same styled interface and shooting modes as the P8, but upon further inspection, that’s necessarily not the case. Visually, the camera interface boasts the same simple layout. Functionally, however, we’re only given the usual crop of modes – such as panoramic, HDR, best photo, all-focus, watermark, beauty, and a wide selfie panoramic. It just doesn’t have the diversified low lighting and manual modes of the P8. Still, there’s quick launching of the app and snapping a photo by double pressing on the volume down button.

Glancing at the sample taken by the phone, we’re generally content with the quality of outdoor shots – ones that are taken when there’s an abundance of lighting. Images have good detail, but colors are more on the flat side and it seems to struggle with dynamic range. That’s where its HDR mode comes into play, by balancing out the exposure to produce an evenly exposed image – without the overblown or artificial colors that some other phones deliver. However, it’s more prone to blurring with HDR.

The phone handles macro and panoramic shots with ease. With the former, the all-focus mode gives us the flexibility of selecting the focus post shot. Another good example are the photos of the flowers and plants. As for panoramic photos, the P8 Lite does nicely to stitch images together without much compromise. While it’s a decent performer under ideal conditions, the camera’s quality takes a drop under low light – where details are sparse, blurring becomes more profound, and traces of fringing are evident.

Camera speed

Taking a pic (sec)Lower is better Taking an HDR pic (sec)Lower is better CamSpeed score Higher is better CamSpeed score with flash Higher is better
OPPO R1x 2.4
3.1
778
607
Huawei P8 lite 3.1
6.3
520
425
Alcatel OneTouch IDOL 3 (5.5") 4.2
No data
368
281
Asus ZenFone 2 6.2
No data
354
230
View all

Its 1080p video quality as a whole, isn’t as good as its still image capture. Right off the bat, we can tell that it once again has a tougher time dealing with dynamic range, since it seems to favor an over-exposed composition. On top of that, its exposure adjustment is a bit on the jumpy side – while the lack of continuous auto-focus means we’re required to constantly tap the screen to adjust it.

We know that the P8 is billed for serious photographers, but the P8 Lite, much like its name, offers simple and easy photo taking. While it’s not a home run in all areas, it still carries along a few great qualities with its package. 


Multimedia

The speaker is underpowered in volume and emits shrill tones.

In addition to the usual Google Play Music app, there’s also Huawei’s own custom music player preloaded on the phone, which by today’s standards, is pretty generic and conventional. Audio output through its speaker reaches a whopping 79 dB, but despite the impressive mark, it still sounds too high-pitched and shrill-toned. Therefore, don’t expect the most pleasant experience – that’s unless you place the volume into the middle setting.

Although it’s more than capable of playing back 1080pp video with ease, it’s not accompanied with the same amount of attention we get from watching something on a better screen – like the iridescent look of the Alcatel Onetouch Idol 3’s panel.

Audio output

Headphones output power (Volts)
Higher is better
Alcatel OneTouch IDOL 3 (5.5") 0.489
Asus ZenFone 2 0.428
OPPO R1x 0.43
Huawei P8 lite 0.26
Loudspeaker loudness (dB)
Higher is better
Alcatel OneTouch IDOL 3 (5.5") 77.7
Asus ZenFone 2 72.7
OPPO R1x 73
Huawei P8 lite 79
View all

Call Quality

Good substance behind voices make phone calls a breeze to handle.

Huawei P8 Lite Review
Voices through the ear piece have some substance behind them, making it easy on us to comprehend things even in noisy conditions. On the other end of the line, our callers are able to listen us with nearly the same amount of ease, but they claim that there’s a sprinkling of distortion – albeit, it’s not too terrible.

Battery

Its 2200 mAh sputters behind its rivals in our benchmark test.

Internally, there’s a 2200 mAh battery giving the P8 Lite juice to run, which is a lower capacity cell than the batteries in the Asus Zenfone 2 and Alcatel Onetouch Idol 3. Not surprisingly, its battery life is a bit less than its esteemed rivals, primarily due to the lower capacity. For day-to-day use, it gets us through a work day, but it’s something that needs additional juicing if we’re to continue using it into the night.

In our battery benchmark test, it achieves a mark of 5 hours and 30 minutes – shy of the results from its direct rivals. And that’s with setting the display to 170 nits in our testing, as opposed to the usual 200 nits! Lastly, it takes an excruciatingly long 136 minutes to recharge its battery!

Battery Benchmarks

Battery life (hours)
Higher is better
Alcatel OneTouch IDOL 3 (5.5") 8h 29 min (Excellent)
OPPO R1x 7h 55 min (Good)
Asus ZenFone 2 7h 34 min (Good)
Huawei P8 lite 5h 30 min (Average)
Charging time (minutes)
Lower is better
Alcatel OneTouch IDOL 3 (5.5") 206
OPPO R1x 139
Asus ZenFone 2 58
Huawei P8 lite 136
View all


Conclusion


Huawei has been in the US market for quite some time now, slowly infiltrating the space with its line of entry to mid-range phones.

On paper, the $249.99 price of the Huawei P8 Lite is an attractive one that no doubt commands attention. While we appreciate how it does its best to emulate the design of the P8, the phone is greeted with stiff competition already out of the gate – the Asus Zenfone 2 and Alcatel Onetouch Idol 3, which we’ve been recalling throughout this review. These two direct competitors are priced similarly as the Huawei P8 Lite, but they both seem to be better spec’d than this.

After checking out what those two phones offered, it’s tough for the P8 Lite to garner the same level of attention from consumers – not only from a specs point of view, but also from a performance standpoint. Most folks will be content with the value it offers for the price, but it simply can’t match the Alcatel Onetouch Idol 3 in terms of overall value. This one has a 720p screen, that one has a 1080p one. This one has Android 4.4 KitKat, while that one has Android 5.0 Lollipop. See what we’re getting at here?


Software version of the review unit:
Android Version: 4.4.4
Baseband Version: 20107091
Kernel Version: 3.10.28-g8a4d7c1
EMUI Version: EMUI 3.0


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